First few days

The first few days after diagnosis can be really hard. You might feel kind of out of it or like you will never fit back into normal life or you might have a hard time getting used to any changes in your life. This is normal, the coping process takes time.

Most people go through stages in learning to cope with a chronic illness. A person who has just been diagnosed with a particular health condition may feel a lot of things. Some people feel vulnerable, confused, and worried about their health and the future. Others feel sad or disappointed in their bodies. For some, the situation seems unfair, causing them to feel angry at themselves and the people they love. These feelings are the start of the coping process. Everyone's reaction is different, but they're all completely normal.

The next stage in the coping process is learning.
Most people living with a long-term illness find that knowledge is power: The more they find out about their condition, the more they feel in control and the less frightening it is. So ask as many questions as you can.

The third and final stage in coping with a chronic illness is all about taking it in stride. At this stage, people feel comfortable with their treatments and with the tools (like inhalers or shots) they need to use to live a as normal life as they can. There's no definite time limit on the coping process. Everybody's process of coming to terms with and accepting a chronic illness is different. In fact, most people will find that emotions surface at all stages in the process. Even if treatments go well, it's natural to feel sad or worried from time to time. Recognizing and being aware of these emotions as they surface is all part of the coping process.